The German national team will stay in the top tier of the Nations League despite being relegated. At a meeting in Ljubljana on Tuesday, UEFA decided to extend the top tier of its Nations League from 12 to 16 teams. The German team therefore retain their position at the height of the competition, which will take place for a second time in 2020.
“Qualifying for the EUROs is still our number one priority,” said head coach Joachim Löw. “To not be relegated from the Nations League comes as a surprise to me, but of course it’s always good to play the strongest teams possible and that will be the case now that we’re staying in the top league.”
Bierhoff: “Playing against the top teams is incredibly important”
National team director Oliver Bierhoff said: “To develop as a team, it’s incredibly important that we play against the top sides in the world, not just for us but for our fans to whom these games are much more attractive. Although this restructuring does admittedly mean that we won’t be able to play international friendlies anymore like the one against Argentina in October.”
As well as Germany, Iceland, Poland and Croatia will also retain their places in the top tier of the Nations League. Four teams will then join from the second tier in 2020: Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Denmark. These teams will be added to a group that already consists of 2019 champions Portugal, finalists Netherlands, Switzerland and England, as well as world champions France, Belgium, Italy and Spain.
The draw for the second Nations League competition will take place on 3rd March before the games are played out between September and November 2020. Qualification for the winter World Cup 2022 in Qatar will commence in early 2021.